Social networks are getting us in plagiarism trouble

Social networks are getting us in plagiarism trouble
Plagiarism is a punishable offence in the academic world.

And it has remained so for the past years. But the growth and widespread use of social media are getting us into more plagiarism trouble than anticipated.

The issue of plagiarism, according to, is that social media is encouraging people, particularly college students, to plagiarise at will.

Here are other indicators that we are getting into more plagiarism trouble as a result of social media.

1. The issue of credibility

Back in the days before social media became so popular, public figures and notable writers were in charge of content creation, particularly those published on various media platforms.

Whatever they produced was also considered credible and accepted by the readers. And it was rare to find people writing or sharing ideas on subjects they barely knew.

But today, social media has changed everything. It has made it easier for people, particularly those who don’t have in-depth knowledge of the subject they are writing about, an opportunity to air their views.

Of course, it is so easy to create a social media account and start writing. But there’s also a possibility that many of the readers won’t trust such posts because the writer in question is not an expert in the said field.

Also, the rate at which people copy one another on social media is alarming. The worst part is that they can copy without acknowledging the original author of the post or article.

And on social media, most people also feel that reposting contents from someone who is not an expert is not plagiarism. But in the real sense, anyone who creates a unique post that’s worth sharing should be acknowledged for his or her hard work, whether the individual is an expert or not.

2. Encouraging people to plagiarise

The simple way information is stolen from an account and reposted on social media, even on a personal account, is encouraging people to plagiarise.

On social media, someone can repost a stolen content without it being flagged for plagiarism. Also, students are becoming used to this act. They copy and paste other’s work even when they know that plagiarism is a severe offence.

However, schools are fighting hard and doing the best they can to discourage students from plagiarising. And it would be a great idea to have the full support of the various social media platforms to help students understand the importance of creating unique contents that will add value to readers.

But since social media isn’t joining the fight anytime soon, trying to reprogram the minds of students to shun plagiarism would be a difficult battle for teachers. These students interact on social media daily and plagiarise without facing any punishment.

So, it’s much easy for them to justify plagiarism. And what’s more surprising is that most scholars and experts sometimes forget that they have to produce unique contents. Most of them make the mistake of plagiarising once they are on social media, too.

3. No serious penalty for offenders

In a school setting, plagiarism is a serious and punishable offence.

But in social media, the case is different. You can steal other people’s work and share them on your page without facing any penalty.

However, the only platform that frowns at plagiarism is Google. Google encourages bloggers and writers to share unique contents that would add value to readers. And even when you copy from others, you have to provide a link to the source or acknowledge the original author.

A website that plagiarises is bound to face severe punishment. Google ads may stop displaying on your website, or the blog might suffer low ranking.

But on social media, anyone can plagiarise and walk away. But if there were a severe penalty for offenders, such as outright suspension of an account, or serious warning, many people would start avoiding plagiarism for fear of being penalized.

There can also be a way for people to protect their contents on social media so that whenever their posts or content is shared, they are automatically acknowledged. With this in place, people will start working hard to produce quality content and shun plagiarism.

4. Everyone is involved

Research scholars are supposed to be among those frowning whenever they find a plagiarized content. But unfortunately, many have been caught in this act.

In Osmania University, for example, an average of 30 – 40% similarity index was observed in PhD thesis submitted when the plagiarism test was made compulsory by the institute.

However, seeing these cases can give college students enough reason to justify the reason they plagiarise.

But whether the act is committed by a scholar or an undergraduate, the thing is stealing other people’s idea is an act that should never be encouraged.


The bottom line is that social media is getting us in big trouble of plagiarism.

And the sooner we realize, re-strategize and address these problems, the better for the academic community and the upcoming generation. Social platforms can create stringent rules to discourage any act of plagiarism.

They can also decide to create plagiarism checking software that can detect plagiarism and help people check to ensure that their posts are plagiarism-free before sharing them online.